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HQ 957536

February 23, 1995

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 957536 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 9503.90.0030

Mr. Joseph Hong
Sports "N" More Corporation
525 East Finney Court
Gardena, California 90248

RE: "S-24A Soft 24-Winners Soccer #2" Ball;" Toy Sports Equipment

Dear Mr. Hong:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of June 27, 1994, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of a child's toy ball imported from China. A sample ball was submitted with your request.


The sample article consists of a soft, round, stuffed ball measuring approximately 6 inches in diameter. The ball somewhat resembles a small soccer ball, and is printed with the flags and names of all 24 countries that participated in the 1994 World Cup soccer matches.


Whether the item should be classified in subheading 9506.62.4080, HTSUSA, as a soccer ball, or in subheading 9503.90.0030, HTSUSA, as an other toy not having a spring mechanism.


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the -2-
terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (ENs) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRIs.

Chapter 95, HTSUS, covers "toys, games and sports equipment; parts and accessories thereof." Heading 9506, HTSUS, provides, in pertinent part, for articles and equipment for athletics, other sports or outdoor games. The ENs to heading 9506 indicate that the heading covers balls other than golf balls and table- tennis balls, such as tennis balls, footballs, rugby balls and similar balls (including bladders and covers for such balls); water polo, basketball and similar valve type balls; and cricket balls. We note that each of these examples is an actual item of sports equipment, and that none of the balls merely represents a sports article. At the six digit level, subheading 9506.62, HTSUS, provides for inflatable balls. Soccer balls are inflatable balls provided for at the ten digit level, subheading 9506.62.4080. The subject merchandise is neither an inflatable ball nor equipment suited for actual use in sports. The item must be classified elsewhere.

Heading 9503, HTSUS, provides for "Other toys...and accessories thereof," i.e., all toys not specifically provided for in the other headings of chapter 95. Although the term "toy" is not defined in the tariff, the ENs to chapter 95 indicate that a toy is an article designed for the amusement of children or adults. It is Customs position that the amusement requirement means toys should be designed and used principally for amusement. Customs defines principal use as that use which exceeds each other single use of the article. The ENs to heading 9503 indicate that the heading covers toy sports equipment, and that certain toys (e.g., electric irons, sewing machines, musical instruments, etc.) may be capable of a limited "use," but they are generally distinguishable by their size and limited capacity from real sewing machines, etc. We find that the small, soft, stuffed ball is toy sports equipment designed to be principally used for the amusement of young children. Therefore, the article is properly classified in subheading 9503.90.0030, HTSUSA.


The "S-24A Soft 24-Winners Soccer #2" Ball" is properly classified in subheading 9503.90.0030, HTSUSA, the provision for "Other toys...and accessories thereof: Other, Other: Other toys -3-

(except models), not having a spring mechanism." The applicable duty rate under the predecessor subheading 9503.90.6000, for entries made through December 31, 1994, was 6.8 percent ad valorem. Under the tariff effective January 1, 1995, the rate has been reduced to free.


John Durant, Director

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